You are a warming, comforting presence. It is audible proof that others care and wish me well; not only my family and friends, but an entire network of people. I don't know what I would do without you.
John F. Robinson, President
Karen Perlman, Vice President
Gail Starkey, Board President Emeritus
John M. Lyons
Gordon Rothman, Executive Director
Mark Manewitz, Counsel to Gatewave, Inc.
William Drewes, Capacity Building Advisor
Biography – John F. Robinson, Board President
Mr. Robinson was elected president of the board of Gatewave, Inc., in September 2014.
He has been president and CEO of National Minority Business Council since 1979, and was one of the council’s founders in 1971. A full-service, non-profit (501)(c)(3) corporation, the NMBC is dedicated to providing business assistance, educational opportunities, seminars, purchasing listings and related services to hundreds of businesses throughout the tri-state area and across the nation.
He also serves as president of the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., in Dallas, TX, as an elder of the First Presbyterian Church- Jamaica, New York, and as a member of the Board of Advisors of St. John’s University, Peter J. Tobin School of Business. Mr. Robinson is former president of the First Church Community Urban Development Corporation.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, he also attended the Executive Management Program at Tuck Business School. He is a recipient of the President’s Private Sector Initiative Award, and is included in Who’s Who in Business & Finance.
Biography – Karen Perlman, Vice President
Ms. Perlman joined the Gatewave Board in September 2014. She is an Academic Performance Coach and Counselor with the Student Services AccessABILITY Department at Hunter College in New York. She assesses the highest priority needs of students with disabilities, develops and presents workshops to address academic challenges, and interacts with students and staff to maintain an inventory of available services for students with disabilities.
A veteran Human Resources professional, she serves on the Diversity Special Interest Group and the Mentorship Committee of the Society of Human Resources Management. She has served on the executive boards of the Manhattan New School and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.
Biography – Gail Starkey, Board President Emeritus
Ms. Starkey co-founded Gatewave in 2009, creating a new and independent 501(c)(3) charity. She served as Executive Director and Board President, leading the creation of today’s structure of program creation and distribution. Prior to that, she was Manager and Operations Director of In Touch Networks, predecessor to Gatewave, for over 16 years. During that period she set criteria for programming quality, scheduling and policy. She developed and implemented guidelines to ensure that all programming activities were conducted within the parameters of station mission and purpose, growth goals, annual strategic plan, licensee directives and the rules and regulations of Public Broadcasting Services, National Public Radio and the Federal Communications Commission. She had supervision of 4-staff professionals and 150 volunteer broadcasters and in her capacity has supported allied and affiliate radio stations and hospitals. She also conceived and raised funding for a new state-of-the-art broadcast facility.
Prior to joining In Touch Networks, Gail Starkey was employed by Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. as Director of Daytime Programming, East Coast. In this capacity she had creative and administrative responsibility for all East Coast daytime programming (Loving, All My Children, & One Life To Live); writer development, story plotting, production, labor relations, budgeting, equipment, and contract negotiations.
She is a member of, and has served on the Board of Directors of The International Association of Audio Information Services.
Biography – Adam Reiss
Mr. Reiss is the partner-in-charge of the Not-for-Profit practice at the accounting, tax, and consulting firm of Citrin Cooperman. He has over 20 years of experience serving as a trusted advisor to charter schools; professional and trade associations; international, education services, advocacy, social services, health care, membership, cultural and arts, research and scientific, religious and public and private grant-making organizations. He has served as the engagement partner on OMB Circular A-133 and other yellow book and compliance-related engagements.
Mr. Reiss prepares and makes presentations to audit, finance, and executive committees of boards of directors to review required auditor communications, results of audit engagements, and management letter comments. He advises clients on implementing new internal controls and policies and procedures recommended in management letters, as well as on ways to address compliance-related deficiencies. He also assists clients with interviewing prospective controller, accounting manager, and staff accountant candidates.
Mr. Reiss is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), where he was once the former chair of its Manhattan/Bronx Chapter’s Cooperation with Bankers and Other Credit Grantors Committee; currently, he is on the Chapter’s Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC). He serves on the finance committee of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. He also serves as the Treasurer of Oceanview Villas Association.
Biography – Les Marshak
Mr. Marshak is one of the leading Broadcast Network Announcers and Voice Over Artists who has had success in many diverse areas in his field. It is Les Marshak's voice you hear every morning introducing NBC's Today Show. As a voice-over artist, he has voiced thousands of radio and TV spots, including having been Macy's commercial spokesman for 20 years. His has voiced of some of network television's biggest events, including: three Oscar Telecasts, 20 years as the Voice of Broadway’s Tony Awards, as well as the Prime Time Emmy’s, Grammy’s and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has introduced Presidents each year at the Annual Ford’s Theatre Gala Celebration in Washington, D.C. Every year he announces two live PBS Holiday Specials: The Annual National Memorial Day Concert and A Capital Fourth.
He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, but his music interests began to play second fiddle to his other passions: attending live radio and TV broadcasts, doing volunteer radio work at the V.A. Hospitals’ closed-circuit radio stations, and being a full time New York Yankee fan.
Aside from his board work, Les is also the “signature voice” of Gatewave and has read the “About Your Health” program every week. Les is also a member of the Board of Directors and the “Voice” of Variety, The Children’s Charity.
Biography – John M. Lyons
Mr. Lyons is Assistant Vice President and Director of Broadcast Communications for The Durst Organization in New York. For more than 40 years he has been involved in the communications industry, dating to his days at WNYE at Brooklyn Technical High School.
He was a transmitter operator and studio engineer for radio station WRFM (now WWPR). He spent nine years as chief studio technical operator at WWRL and while there also worked as director of engineering at ZDK Radio in St. John's, Antigua, a station he built and put on the air. He worked for WOR Radio as assistant chief engineer. He was then moved by the company to WXLO (now WRKS) to be chief engineer, where he served for a decade. During most of that time he was chairman of the Master FM Broadcasters Committee at the Empire State Building, coordinating the operations of 13 city FM stations with the broadcasters at Empire and the World Trade Center.
In 1990, he left WRKS to join DSI Communications (now DSI RF Systems), where he was senior project manager, responsible for communications facility build-outs, including TV and radio station transmitter facilities, two-way communications, point-to-point microwave and satellite communications systems. In 1994 he took a consulting position at the new Sony Worldwide Radio Networks, where he worked to establish and set standards for a nationwide satellite-programming network, built the studios and developed its operations system. With that established, Lyons moved on to WLTW with Viacom Radio (now Clear Channel Communications) as assistant chief engineer, and was promoted to become chief of the recently acquired WAXQ. He resumed his position as chairman of the Master FM Broadcasters Committee at Empire for four more years and was design engineer for many of the Clear Channel New York operations including the pioneer backup FM transmitting site at 4 Times Square for the five Clear Channel (then Chancellor Media) NYC stations.
After the catastrophic losses of Sept. 11, 2001, Lyons worked with the Empire State Building, 4 Times Square, broadcasters and contractors to restore broadcasting operations for all of the orphaned WTC stations. He designed transmission line runs, laid out transmitter plants and assisted the stations to return to the air as soon as possible.
In 2002 he was named manager of communications and broadcast operations at 4 Times Square for The Durst Organization and was responsible for removal of the 132-foot master FM antenna tower and its replacement with a 385-foot master TV and FM antenna tower, capable of accommodating all the TV and FM stations licensed to the New York metropolitan area. In 2005 he was elevated to his present position, where he is responsible for the communications needs of the entire 10 million-square-foot Durst portfolio.
Lyons has devoted the last several years to establishing a state-of-the-art communications system for first responders, now serving the entire 10 million square foot portfolio, to benefit New York firefighters and EMS personnel and protect Durst's tenants and properties.
Biography – Gordon Rothman, Executive Director
Mr. Rothman comes to Gatewave after more than 30 years at CBS News. He was Coordinator of Election Graphics starting with the 2008 election season, in which he organized editorial and technical teams to create and systems for create real-time graphics displays. Before that assignment, and between elections, he was Senior Producer for Special Projects at CBS News Productions, creating nonfiction programs for outside clients. Among many other projects, he created and ran “Daily Rounds” a health newscast on Discovery Health Channel, served as Senior Producer for the Science Channel series “Brink,” and produced home video DVDs about Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and Pope John Paul II.
After starting his career as a TV newscast producer in San Antonio, Louisville, and Indianapolis, and at ABC’s Satellite News Channel, Mr. Rothman joined CBS News in 1983. He wrote for Bill Kurtis and Diane Sawyer on the CBS Morning News, became head writer for the show, then traveled the country as a field producer creating reports about health, money, and other topics. He left the program when he was selected to revive the kids’ news series “In the News” as the sole producer, writer, and video editor.
In 1997 he began volunteering as a reader at Gatewave’s predecessor, In Touch Networks, then started recording from his home when Gatewave was launched in 2009. He was chosen as Executive Director in August 2013 while still working at CBS News. Since November 2014, he has served Gatewave as a fulltime volunteer.
Biography – Mark L. Manewitz, Esquire
Mark Manewitz has over 30 years of legal experience. He has handled matters of all kinds and is noted for his expertise in environmental law and energy. He has represented clients in real estate and business transactions, as well as a wide variety of intellectual property transactions. He has defended clients in state and federal enforcement actions in New York, New Jersey, and many other jurisdictions throughout the United States as well as Canada, Europe and India. His clients appreciate his broad knowledge and his practical experience has been effective in helping many clients be successful.
Mr. Manewitz is in a sole practice with strong relationships as counsel to a number of law firms. He was a partner in Manewitz Studholme, LLC in Princeton before moving his offices to Fort Lee NJ and NYC. He formerly headed the Environmental Practice Group at Herrick Feinstein LLP. He was previously a Partner with the firm of Reed Smith LLP and was Counsel with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.
He is a frequent speaker and author. His most recent publication in 2014 is the chapter on Environmental Litigation in New Jersey in the handbook on Environmental Practice for New Jersey.
Mr. Manewitz was elected chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New Jersey Bar for 1989-1990.
Before going into private practice, Mark was Assistant General Counsel of Coltec Industries (formerly Colt Industries), an international manufacturer, overseeing all of the company's environmental matters, and was counsel to Exxon Company U.S.A., with responsibility for environmental matters in the eastern United States. Before joining Exxon, Mark served as Senior Counsel to the Power Authority of the State of New York where had responsibility for the legal aspects of the construction of the Indian Point 3 Nuclear plant and regulatory responsibility for other Power Authority Nuclear facilities.
Biography – William Drewes, Capacity Building Advisor
Mr. Drewes previously served as Manager of Planned Giving for the NYU Medical Center, Capital Campaign Manager for the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, and Development Advisor to Legal Services NYC. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Long Island University, the Stern Graduate School of Business of New York University, and Brooklyn Law School. Bill completed the Philanthropic and Fund Raising Administration Program of New York University and conducted workshops in establishing and raising funds for nonprofit organizations at Baruch College (CUNY).